I bought my Cymbal Sock Knitting Machine in 2010, and after quite a few false starts began knitting socks. For about a year I made pairs of socks and gave them away as presents to friends and family. Then with a little trepidation I ran my first stall in September 2011; I was a stallholder for the Stroud Sunday Market for a year and then in June 2014 I joined Stroud Farmers' Market where I have a stall on the second Saturday of every month.
Hand cranked socks are just wonderful; I use sock yarn from the UK and Germany, they are all 75% pure new wool and 25% polyamide. The polyamide gives the socks longevity. They can be washed in the washing machine and there's nothing like them for comfort and warmth.
Why not try some hand cranking yourself? By joining me at one of my Sock School Experience days. Check out the Sock School page of my website.
I first learned about sock knitting machines when I was at Leeds University studying Textile Management. They became very popular after the end of the First World War when primarily women bought the machines, mainly on credit, bought the wool from the same source and then sold back the knitted socks in order to make a small income. And the income would have been small as the socks had to be perfect which is a difficult task in poor light!
Wearing my socks and socks like them is like wearing a little bit of history, you'll love them!